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Wings, Osgood run streaks to eight straight

by Lindsey Ungar / Detroit Red Wings
Zetterberg set a new team record when he assisted on Jiri Hudler's second period goal. It stretched Zetterberg's consecutive game point streak to start the season to 15, passing Norm Ullman, who gained a point in 14 straight to begin the 1960-61 campaign.
DETROIT -- After two periods of play on Wednesday, it seemed to be an easy night at The Joe for the Red Wings. They were tripling the Nashville Predators in shots on net, killed off two consecutive penalties in the middle frame, and held a 2-0 lead.


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And even though the Wings had been off for five days, the Wings had allowed only nine third-period goals coming into the game, tied for third-fewest in the NHL.

But a lifeless Predators team stormed back in the third, scoring twice in the last eight minutes.

“I’ve been nervous for five days,” Wing coach Mike Babcock said. “I knew this was coming.”

With the makings of a home upset in place, the Red Wings didn’t flinch. They still pulled out the victory, defeating the Predators 3-2 — it just took some extra time.

Off goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in the shootout, Detroit extended its winning streak to eight games. Each deked Nashville goaltender Chris Mason, while Wings netminder Chris Osgood stopped both Nashville attempts. Osgood is now 8-0 on the season, his best start in 14 NHL seasons.

“We were flying for the first 30 minutes, but we look like we hit a wall in the last 30 for some reason or another,” Osgood said. “It was the opposite — when you usually get five days off, you start a little slow but we just didn’t have our legs the second half of the game.”

Before the game shifted in the third, it had started well for the Wings.

Valtteri Filppula kept his hot hand going early in the game. From the bottom of the right faceoff circle, Filppula threw the puck toward the Nashville net. Dan Cleary deflected the puck on Mason, who stopped the first shot, but couldn’t grab Cleary’s second attempt at 8:40 of the first period. After a 10-game scoreless streak, Filppula now has scored points in three of four games.

In the second period, Matt Ellis and Henrik Zetterberg were whistled off for consecutive infractions. The Detroit home penalty kill squad has struggled, ranked 17th in the league, but stymied the Predator offense.

Detroit extended its lead with just over a minute to go in the second period. It appeared that Tomas Holmstrom scored from an unlikely spot – in the slot — when his shot hit the post, but bounced off of Mason’s stick blade and into the net. But the goal was credited to Jiri Hudler, who was perched next to the crease.

Nashville mounted the comeback at the 12:28 mark of the third period, when Ryan Suter’s shot had eyes for back of the net. JP Dumont tied the game at two when he was left all alone in front of Osgood with just over a minute left in the third.

“We had a two-goal lead, and would have liked to make it three,” Osgood said. “We just didn’t play good. But we managed to win the game, and that’s what matters in the end.”


Nashville has lost six of its last seven games at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit continues its nine straight games against the Central Division, hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night.






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